Haaretz has published the lowest of the low, an op-ed by a settler activist attempting to appropriate Rosa Parks for the sake of the settler movement:
Once upon a time there was a black woman; her name was Rosa Parks. There were racially discriminating laws in the United States, but she continued to sit on the bus even when she was told to vacate her seat for a white person. She was arrested, which set off a process whose end saw the abolishment of racial segregation on American buses. How is it possible that one little black woman, a dressmaker by profession, could change history simply because she remained sitting? Her protest was stronger than any demonstration, op-ed piece or Knesset vote. She opted for the natural choice; that is why she was triumphant.
Every so often here I trot out that magnificent piece of anti-McCarthy oratory by Joseph C. Welch and it seems so appropriate here:
You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?
…Mr. McCarthy…If there is a God in heaven, it will do neither you nor your cause any good…
For the settlers to attempt to dress their cause in the raiment of the American civil rights movements is odious and offensive when their cause is ipso facto racist to the core. I don’t know who they think they’re appealing to with this fraudulent pap. Do they think ignorant Americans will buy this load of manure? Do they take us for complete fools?
We should remember that no matter how insulting this line of argument may be for Americans who know something about their history, this is the type of treatment that the settlers inflict on Israelis virtually every day. They twist the political truth and defile moral decency in their desperate attempt to blackmail the Israeli public into cooperating with their delusions of manifest destiny, Israel-style.
H/t to Mary Hughes.
I sent a comment to Haaretz on this piece a few days ago, and I see they still haven’t posted it. I said the pot is calling the kettle black in this case, and that the writer does not recognize the hypocrisy and racism he possesses in his heart.
However, I was gratified to see in the other comments posted by Haaretz readers that it didn’t get past them at all.
But what amazes me is the chutzpah that some Israelis possess, that they are in such a state of denial that it does indeed mimic the mentality of Americans in the 19th century, and their embrace of the concept of Manifest Destiny. You could even go a step beyond that and recall Kipling’s White Man’s Burden.
I do not find this settler’s view odd or surprising at all. It is perfectly consistent with the savage semantics of Zionism in Israel as a whole. [Not really worse than “putting the Palestinians on a diet”]. It is natural for this settler to mimic the perverted semantics of Israel’s entire criminal enterprise to vanquish Palestinian lands. He is “cut from the whole cloth” of the same Zionist fanaticism that propels Netanyahu to, for example, declare a freeze in one breath and expanded construction in the next.
And we finance these people?????
The power to rationalize and justify one’s misdeeds is infinite. The US did the same thing when it colonized America; manifest destiny was what it was called, meaning that the whites had a collective mandate to rule the continent and plunder it for whatever could be had. Back then the hot commodities were gold and land, now it’s oil and land. It’s more than semantics; it is a collective consciousness of a society that has no other worldview than the one it has imposed upon itself since before 1948. Some have the religious belief that they can actually murder Palestinians and God is cool with it. Some others are purely interested in the secular and political. But the effect is the same. There has always been deceit and duplicity because it is an intrinsic part of the Zionist agenda. Netanyahu is now talking about the peace process again; he goes back and forth from rewarding the settlers to sucking up to the people pressuring him to resume peace talks. He’s as genuine as a three-dollar bill; he just gave millions of dollars to the settlers, now he’s saying he wants to bring the Palestinians back to negotiations. Anyone who trusts Netanyahu is a fool.
This is disgusting. Do these thugs have any conception of how they look to humane, liberal, morally serious people? This is a perfect example of how either radically cynical or totally divorced from reality, or both, the settlers and their supporters are.
The occupied Palestinians in the West Bank live under arguably the most viscious, brutal and dehumanizing form of apartheid extant in the world today. Heck, the Israelis build roads criss-crossing the West Bank connecting their militarized settlements that the Palestinian ubermenschen in between are not even allowed to use! And they’re going to turn around and hold up Rosa Parks! (I think I’m gonna be sick…) What’s so sickening, and also what peculiarly stands out, about Israeli propaganda is that in the midst of their brutalizing, they perpetually play the victim. If you’re going to be brutalizing thugs, just be it, please don’t play the oppressed victim and appropriate narratives of the oppressed. It’s utterly revolting. It’s a crime against language, representation and reality.
Correction: Sheesh, what is it with me and careless, dyslexic mistakes today in my comments (!), second time I’ve done something like that on a thread. As is obvious from the context above, I meant to write “untermenschen” rather than the opposite. The term may seem colorful and dramatic here, but it’s hard to imagine a more visceral form of otherizing racism than what you see today in the occupying Israelis toward the occupied Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza, specifically amongst the (state-sponsored) settlers.
The hypocrisy is breathtaking, indeed. Warren, your questions should not only be asked of the Israelis, but also of Obama. American support allows this occupation to continue.
Why do you think that a piece originally published in Hebrew was directed at Americans???
Richard Silverstein says
Because it was also published in English in Haaretz, an edition widely read in the Diaspora. And because it exploits a widely admired American civil rights icon.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but EVERYTHING that is published in Hebrew in Ha’aretz that bears the slightest relevance to the conflict is translated into English (and they often leave out full sentences, I can think of examples, and I might be able to find them as well.) Regardless, it’s quite clear that the fact that it was published in the English edition of Ha’aretz proves nothing.
As for the “exploitation” of “a widely admired American civil rights icon,” how often do you read articles about Rosa Parks that feel the need to introduce her to start with, much less begin “Once upon a time….” Your arguments are proving the opposite point.
So what if Haaretz publishes in English? American Jews, and non-Jews, read Haaretz for middle east news coverage. Al Jazeera is multiligual, and there are English language papers such as The Daily Star from Beirut, as well as many from Egypt, Palestine, and Pakistan. They cater to an international readership, which all good newspapers are trying to do in the age of globalization and with the accessibility of the internet.
“As for the “exploitation” of “a widely admired American civil rights icon,” how often do you read articles about Rosa Parks that feel the need to introduce her to start with, much less begin “Once upon a time….” Your arguments are proving the opposite point.”
I just don’t get this statement at all. I read it over and over but I don’t know what your point is. Can you elaborate?
Richard Silverstein says
If you’d said 70 or 80% I would agree. But “everything” overstates the case. Numerous interesting articles are not translated into English. And yes, they do truncate articles in translation & it is frustrating. I agree w. you.
The fact that Haaretz spent the time, money & effort to have the ltr. translated into English proves a great deal: that the column was intended to have a Diaspora audience just as I claimed.
I don’t have any idea what the pt of the yr 2nd paragraph is above. Rosa Parks is widely known & admired here in the States. That is why she was exploited in this propaganda piece & appropriated on behalf racist settler ideology.